Ungovernable city of Kampala
There must some hardships in the leadership structure in Kampala. On the 3rd of December 2015, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the president of Uganda had the brilliant idea and hired Mr. Singh Katongole as his advisor on Kampala affairs.
On the #AskMuseveni press conference 12th December he said this about Kampala:
“You ‘Kampalanians’ might not know all this because you are here in Kampala with your NGOs”.
This city got the status of that in 1962. Kampala City has 57 Slum settlements and divided into 5 Divisions which are Central, Kawempe, Nakawa, Lubaga and Makindye. The main structures of the City are KCCA or the Kampala Capital City Authority. This lead by the Lord Mayor and the Executive Director; the Lord Mayor is elected by the people on a secret ballot while the Executive Director is appointed by the President; and that means that two of the leaders of the KCCA is one part a representative directly of the public and the other given the powers from the President to oversee the representative from the public; which if you wonder is the Lord Mayor. A third head chief of the City is the Ministry of Kampala Affairs and also the same person who is Ministry of the Presidency.
This isn’t a play that has always been in action. There was long run by the KCC, before the KCCA Act of 2010 came into effect. That was because the NRM-Regime feared their losing powers on the electorate powers and control of the Capital. Therefore they had to rejuvenate the system from Parliament and control the city of Kampala more directly from the Parliament. This has been done since the election from 2011. This was with the steady case of impeachment and dismissal of Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago in November of 2013. The issue was that the Lord Mayor wanted to hire certain people to do check and balance. This starting in 2012 with this: “Kampala City council Authority Councilors have asked the Authority’s executive Director to willingly resign before she is forcefully pushed out following a public report by Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago exposing irregular recruitment of unqualified staff, who were in turn, paid hefty overtime allowances exceeding their salaries”.
This led to a following powers struggle between Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago versus Executive Director Jennifer Musisi. And this also showed that the Minster of Kampala Affairs Frank Tumwebaze can take decisions and impeach the Lord Mayor, and also Executive Director under the direction of the President. Also get the through the Parliament the reshuffle of the KCCA instead of the men that the Lord Mayor wish to have to oversee the administration of the City as the Lord Mayor did under the KCC. But this working method doesn’t work smooth enough for the President of Uganda.
The Lord Mayor and the Executive Director the test accountability from the Public Accountability Council (PAC) and the Attorney General who runs the committee and reads the reports who is sent from the Minister of Kampala Affairs for review; this review is taken into consideration and in the 2013 case lead to the fall of the elected Lord Mayor of 2011.
This proven power of the Ministry of Kampala and the Executive Director, both handpicked men by the President. That is not the deal with the Lord Mayor. So that this is not enough to make sure that the NRM has true control of the still new KCCA, the five divisions and all the slums of the Kampala City. Under the five Divisions there is Urban Councils who also have leaders to keep under the leach of the divisions and the KCCA.
Even with the KCCA it’s still to be governed by the Central Government, the law says so, therefore the president does what he does best hire his people who are loyal to him in positions, both the Minster and Executive Director are loyal people of Mzee. The newly appointed advisor is seen as the same. The only issue is the Lord Mayor who has been an opposition candidate and not one of the handpicked men. That is why Kampala City hasn’t had an official Lord Mayor since 2013, after a year-long power struggle with the Executive director, that was rubberstamped by Minister of Kampala Affairs, before settled by the Chief of Justice and Attorney General. That ended in 29. November 2013 when a meeting complied of a certain level of councilors and 29 of them voted against the Lord Mayors position. He lost his seat and power by wishing to employ men he believed would serve the city well, instead got sacked by the Central Government, by the mouthpiece of Frank Tumwebaze and Jennifer Musisi who finally got rid of the people’s candidate to the authority running the city. So since then Frank and Jennifer has together run the city’s administration and put Lukwago in the cold. After this now Mzee has decided to put on more man into the fold.
The new position Presidential Advisor for Kampala affairs Mr. Singh Katongole, I am sure himself wonder what and where he is in between the other leaders of the City. There is clear that on top of the pyramid is Mzee, then it’s the minister, third it’s either the Lord Mayor or Executive director depending on who is in office at this point. Though firstly on third level the Lord Mayor by law is the one conveying the ordinary use of KCCA and with administrative help and then fourth placed leader is the Executive Director. The issue and question in mind. Is the advisor on his own island or is he on the same level and an informer to the president on the Kampala affairs? Or has the position powers that succeed the Lord Mayor or Executive Director? Does that position even contain keeping the Minister of Kampala Affairs in order and comply too the wishes of the President? Where does the person’s leadership ability and limit go?
If you haven’t got it yet; the Executive director and Minister of Kampala Affairs is a way of securing NRM men to control a city and area where the NRM doesn’t have power. In this way a third leader will strain the relationship with the opposition candidate and elected Lord Mayor by the citizen’s secret ballot instead of the appointed men from the presidency. This here is proof yet again how the regime fears the people’s choices for their own leaders. That is why they prefer sole-candidacies and single-handed flag-bearers. Because of this leadership style from the president, he can’t handle seeing that the people want other people then the ones he controls over and their actions. That is why he has made the system and administration swallow for Kampala, so that the powers of the elected official has less to say and can easily be “sacked” by the council with the charge of the courts together with the Minister of Kampala Affairs filing in the case-work. That is why I have to question the need for one more man? When you can already by biased paperwork file papers in order together with the Attorney General send it to court and also get the councils verdict; by that get rid of the Lord Mayor or suspend his powers as so.
Why does the President need a fourth leader in a way for Kampala? The city is so ungovernable that the Lord Mayor needs three over him to able to administer the city well? Executive Director is a vital piece of the newly founded KCCA and supposed it seems to be the in between central government and local government leader, but isn’t that what the Lord Mayor already is or supposed to be? So the Executive Director seems as an addition to cut down the control of the Lord Mayor, because the Minister of Kampala Affairs can’t exhausts the reasons for taking control, he can put it to the Executive Director as he did in 2013. But in that sense, what advice does the new Presidential Advisor do? Does he send the letter to the Attorney General instead of the Minister? I just wonder where the newly appointed person comes into the equation. For the moment the position is an added X with any substance and I can’t figure the place on an organizational map. At this point I wonder if Mzee even can find him there, since he didn’t knew that the Uganda Cranes where a national team and not playing in the Uganda Premier League. Things are not easy for him always and finding him an office and place him on chart to explain his value will not easy. The position is surely just given to person who got it, not that person had to write a letter and give the CV to president, Mzee already had the person in mind hopefully when he appointed him. What is big the question that nobody else have bothered to ask!
What in the hell does Kampala need four entitled leaders like Lord Mayor, Executive Director, Presidential Advisor on Kampala Affairs and Minister on Kampala Affairs? And what is the newest recruit supposed to do in his office other than vacate a chair and surf the web on a laptop? Since the person who is now recruited can lean on the KCCA, their underlings, the Minsitry of the City and courts to do his job it seems; should the person just chill and go to local eatery an take a chai and some matooke? Peace.
Side-note – Even back in the day they we’re missing funds: